What’s Another Word for Develop? | Synonyms for Growing Your Skills

Growing your skills is an important aspect of both personal and professional development. Whether you are seeking to improve your performance at work, expand your knowledge in a particular field, or simply learn new things, there are many ways to develop your skills. But what if you’re tired of using the word ‘develop’? Fear not! In this article, we’ll explore synonyms for ‘develop’ that you can use to add some variety to your vocabulary.

Why Use Synonyms?

As a writer or speaker, using the same word repeatedly can become boring and repetitive. It can also make your content more difficult to read or listen to. By incorporating synonyms into your writing and speech, you can not only add variety, but also make your content more engaging and enjoyable to consume.

Synonyms for Develop

Here are some synonyms for ‘develop’ that you can use to describe skills growth and development:

1. Cultivate

‘Cultivate’ can be a useful synonym for ‘develop’ if you want to emphasize the gradual and deliberate nature of skill growth. When you cultivate something, you are taking care of it and helping it to grow, similar to how you might cultivate a garden. To cultivate your skills, you might take a deliberate approach to learning, seeking out opportunities to practice and seeking feedback on your performance.

2. Foster

If you want to convey a sense of nurturing or encouragement when describing the growth of your skills, you might use the word ‘foster’. This word suggests that you are actively supporting and encouraging the development of your skills, much like a foster parent might provide support and encouragement to a child in their care. To foster your skills, you might seek out mentors or other supportive individuals who can help guide your growth.

3. Hone

‘Hone’ is a synonym that suggests a more focused and deliberate approach to skill development. When you hone something, you are sharpening and refining it. In the context of skill development, honing your skills might involve practicing specific techniques or approaches, seeking out specialized training or education, or simply dedicating more time and attention to the areas where you want to grow.

4. Enhance

If you want to emphasize the idea of improvement or augmentation when describing your skills development, consider using the word ‘enhance’. This synonym suggests that you are taking steps to make your skills better or stronger. To enhance your skills, you might seek out additional training or education, practice new techniques or approaches, or look for opportunities to apply your skills in new and challenging contexts.

5. Refine

Another synonym that can be useful for emphasizing the idea of improvement is ‘refine’. To refine your skills means to make them more precise, polished, or sophisticated. This might involve focusing on specific aspects of your skills, such as your accuracy or attention to detail, or seeking out more advanced training or education to help you develop more complex skills or techniques.

6. Progress

‘Progress’ is a word that suggests forward movement, growth, and improvement. To make progress with your skills means that you are actively working to improve and grow in your chosen field or area of expertise. This might involve setting goals for yourself, seeking out opportunities to learn and practice new skills, or seeking feedback to help you identify areas where you can improve.

7. Advance

Similar to ‘progress’, ‘advance’ suggests forward movement and growth. However, ‘advance’ also conveys the idea of moving to a more advanced or sophisticated level. To advance your skills means to take concrete steps to move beyond your current level of knowledge or expertise, such as seeking out more advanced training or education, working with experienced mentors or coaches, or tackling more challenging projects or assignments.

8. Evolve

‘Evolve’ is a synonym that emphasizes the idea of growth and change over time. When you evolve your skills, you are taking steps to adapt and grow in response to new challenges or opportunities. This might involve seeking out new information to broaden your knowledge base, learning new techniques or approaches to refine your skills, or seeking out new challenges to test your abilities.

9. Improve

Finally, the good old-fashioned word ‘improve’ can be a useful synonym for ‘develop’ when you simply want to describe the idea of making something better. To improve your skills, you might seek out feedback on your performance, identify areas where you need to grow or develop, and take concrete steps to address those areas of weakness.

Putting It All Together

Now that you have some synonyms for ‘develop’ to work with, you can start incorporating them into your writing and speech to add some variety and interest. Remember to choose the synonyms that best capture the nuance and complexity of what you are trying to convey, and to vary the words you use to describe skill growth and development throughout your content.

An Unordered List of Common Questions and Their Answers

  • What is a synonym for ‘develop’? Some synonyms for ‘develop’ include ‘cultivate’, ‘foster’, ‘hone’, ‘enhance’, ‘refine’, ‘progress’, ‘advance’, ‘evolve’, and ‘improve’.
  • What is the difference between ‘develop’ and ‘cultivate’? ‘Develop’ suggests general growth and expansion, while ‘cultivate’ suggests a more deliberate and careful approach to growth.
  • What is the best word to use for skill improvement? The best word to use will depend on the context and the nuance you want to convey, but ‘improve’, ‘hone’, and ‘refine’ are all good options.


Bao, Y. (2020). Categorization and Extraction of Synonyms Based on Corpus Analysis. Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 1638(1), 012037. https://doi.org/10.1088/1742-6596/1638/1/012037

Roget, P. M. (1960). Roget’s thesaurus of English words and phrases. Avenel, N.J: Gramercy Books.

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